Thursday, January 28, 2010

Primo Giorni

My apartment is fucking awesome. There is no other way to describe it. Its fully furnished, with a full kitchen set, full bathroom, and the most spectacular view. The Duomo, the most famous church next to the Vatican, is right outside my window. I can walk there in a solid two minutes. I'm not kidding, readers, THE DUOMO IS TWO MINUTES FROM MY HUGE APARTMENT! I have the biggest room I've ever had in my life, my bathroom has a bidet, AND THE DUOMO IS OUTSIDE MY WINDOW! I am never going to get used to that fact. I live in the Mercato di San Lorenzo, which means I live above the biggest stretch of street vendors in the city all shouting their wares and telling young women that they look like J.Lo. Clearly, we're all spanish. I was so overwhelmed when I walked into my apartment I did a jig. It was short, silly, and totally unflattering, but it reflected the pure joy that I felt. And continue to feel.

I spent my first couple days in Firenze doing all the things I love about Italy. I had a day's worth of passegiata, strolling; I ate gelato, caprese, fresh pasta, bread with oil, and some incredible tiramisu. I've seen the sights, walking across the Ponte Vecchio, sitting around in the Santa Croce, hung around in the Piazza di Santa Maria Novella (and admired the David copy in all it's magnificence that stands there), and of course I've seen the Duomo which, by the way, is right outside my window. I've enjoyed the perks of the fact that Italy sponsors having no drinking age. I've had wine so good its made my toes curl and gone out to lounges and bars whose bartenders are extremely generous with their alcohol. I've thusfar managed to drink the Italian way, savoring my drinks rather than drowning myself in them in order to get as plastered as possible. I've gone shopping in the mercatos around my apartment and drank caffes in the little bars that litter this town.

I've done alot of school-related business in these first couple days, including three orientations and some wandering all over to find stores that would make some Goddamn photocopies. I've met alot of cool people from my school and lucked out with some really awesome roommates. I can already tell that this semester is going to be the best one I've ever had. The kids I've met are from all over the United States; this is a very good thing because it will prompt me to travel all over to see them all. I've gone out for a night on the town already and was able to discover this great lounge, Moya. The drinks are kind of expensive but the bartender makes them really strong, so you only really need one.

I've discovered through trial-and-error that you cannot sit down in a restaurant and order only appetizers and wine. This deeply offends the establishment and gets you dirty looks and a door closed swiftly behind you. I've also discovered that you cannot ever share your meal with anyone you're dining with. You must have both hands above the table at all times otherwise the Italians will assume you're doing naughty things beneath the table. Also, don't ever try to ask for a box to bring your food home. The more you leave on your plate, the more you offend the chef, so bringing your food home is just mean. When eating at a tabacchi or small bar, do not EVER bring your plate back up to the counter. A. This is offensive. B. If you sit down with the food in these places, they'll charge you extra. Italian table etiquette is confusing, and the only perk is not leaving a tip. Italian waiters and waitresses are paid handsomely, with a salary and everything, so giving them a tip is worthless.

This place is exciting. Its strange, fascinating, and OLD. I live in the centre of town, meaning I live in the places that are the oldest. I've been informed that I am studying in what were once palaces. We take classes in the same rooms Michelangelo and Brunelleschi worked, for fuck's sake. I'm overwhelmed, overjoyed, and I'm happy. I'm ready to take on this city in the biggest way! Buona sera, readers, and Arrivederci, for now!

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